Thekkady, Thekkady Tourist Attractions

Periyar National Park

Information about Periyar National Park

The Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated within the confines of the Western Ghats in Kerala. This park is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world and also one of the largest and finest wildlife reserves in India. This park is surrounded by an artificial Periyar lake. This lake was formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river and covers an area of 55 square km. This lake, which initially led to the submersion of large tracts of forestland, however became an excellent wildlife sanctuary. In 1978, Periyar was declared as a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger.

Elephants in Periyar National Park

Periyar national park covers an area of 777 square km, out of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest. The terrain ranges from lush tropical moist deciduous forests to the hilly and flat grassland areas. The vegetation is of moist evergreen type. This national park is known for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty and attracts visitors from all over the world. The best time to visit the park is from October to June.  

Wildlife Attractions in Periyar National Park
Wildlife in Periyar National Park

The Periyar National Park is a home of 1965 flowering plants including 171 species of grass and 143 species of orchids. The only South Indian conifer Podocarpus wallichianus and the rare orchid Habeneria periyarancis is also found here. About 35 species of mammals are found in the Periyar National Park. The major wildlife attractions in the Periyar National Park are the wild elephants, Tigers and Nilgiri Tahrs. There has been considerable increase in the population of tiger due to proper conversation. Besides these animals various other animals are also found in this park which include Gaur or bison, Leopards, Sambar, Bear, Wild oxen, Wild boar, Spotted deer, Wild dog,

Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Porcupine, Squirrels and Sloth bear. Along with animals, the Periyar National Park is also the home of various reptiles and amphibians like Monitor lizards, Pythons, King cobras and Flying lizards, Frogs, toads, limbless Aeolians including the colourful Malabar gliding frogs, common Indian toads, fungoid frogs and bicoloured frogs. Besides animals and reptiles, various migratory and resident species of birds are also the major attraction of Thekkady. About 265 species of birds including the migratory birds like Darters, Cormorants, Ibises, Grey herons, Mynas, Flycatchers, Orioles, Wood pigeons, Kites, Kingfishers, Ospreys, Thrushes and Parakeets can be seen here. The Periyar lake and stream are rich with several species of fish including the masher, the famous and endangered game fish of India. Otter, the only mammal of the lake can be seen from the boat.

Arround Thekkady

Mangala Devi Temple (15 kms.)
The ancient temple built in traditional Kerala architecture is perched atop a thickly wooded hill and affords fine vistas of the scenic surroundings. It is dedicated to Mangladevi or Kannagi, the protagonist of the Tamil epic sillapadhikaram, who burnt down Madurai after her husband was mistakenly accused of being a thief and killed. The shrine can be visited only on the occasion of Chithra Purnima, the full moon day in the month of April May.

Jungle Safari in the Periyar National Park

The Periyar National Park is the only park in India from where you can have the unique experience of viewing wildlife at close quarters from the safety of a boat on the lake. You can watch the activities of various animals by just having a walk or having a elephant ride in the Periyar National Park. You can also watch the animals from the watchtowers but only after prior permission. A guide will always accompany you during the safari in the park.

How to reach Periyar National Park

By Air:
The nearest airports are located in Cochin (200 km) and Madurai (140 km).

By Rail:
The nearest major railway junction is located in Kottayam.

By Road:
The park is well connected by bus service from the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram (271 km), as well as the cities of Cochin (200 km), Kottayam (117 km), and Madurai (140 km).

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